News of the latest version of Blackberry's popular messaging software called "Blackberry Messenger" or BBM came just in time to be a techie's Valentine's Day gift. The main feature getting attention is the inclusion of Blackberry Voice on the iOS and Android platforms. Users of the two most dominant smartphones will now be able to voice dial any person in their BBM contact book using either a cellular network connection or a Wi-Fi network. BBM voice had already existed for Blackberry smartphone users. Blackberry had promised it would roll the feature out to BBM iOS & Android versions and latest version makes good on that. It should be noted that the BBM voice calls are both free and global.
Another new feature in BBM 2.0 is "BBM Channels". Channels are akin to what CompuServe used to be in the early 90s: a messaging board for users to post questions on related topics in real-time. The message boards can cover a wide range of topics from important technical issues to the latest skinny on popular TV series and stars. Users can create their own channels and make them private or open to the public. Businesses, users, and brands alike can all create channels.
BBM 2.0 is now integrated with Glimpse for location sharing. What Glimpse offers is the ability to define a timer for how long a person's location is displayed. Once the timer expires, the location information is becomes private.
File sharing or rather big file sharing just got easier in BBM 2.0 because of its integration with Dropbox, the cloud-based large file storage site. Users can now have their video, pictures, and other files uploaded to their dropbox account and share those files directly from the cloud to anyone they designate. This version is an important step in Blackberry's attempt to regain a market presence by playing to its strengths.
On The Web:
New BlackBerry Messenger Beta for Android Features BBM Voice, Beats Hangouts to the Punch
All-New Ways to BBM Me: BBM 2.0 is Here!